Sunday, April 29, 2012

Work among the dying & NLS

"I never intended to make my living among the dying. When I entered medical school, I dreamed of helping people. And for me, helping meant saving lives. I imagined a clinic filled with grateful, cured, modern-day Lazarus equivalents, I also convinced myself that my undergraduate background in medical anthropology would make me more empathic than other physicians; my patients would not only be physically cured but would be emotionally healed in culturally relevant ways.
As it turns out, my dreams about my future medical career were not that different from those of most medical students. Premedical students overwhelmingly believe that as physicians they will be able to cure and help their patients. Few choose this career to care for the dying; instead, they believe they will save others from inevitability of death."
- Pauline W. Chen, Final Exam.

Was rummaging through the overwhelmingly huge National Library of Singapore when I came across this book. Haven't been reading medical related books lately and this book has got me thinking again. I will try to find time and make a review about it as I am again, half way through the book at the moment. What made me so pissed off in the library was that I couldn't find any book I intended to find! (I mean fictions) It's either on loan, not on loan but mysteriously gone or not available at all in the central library, and I thought it's supposed to have all the books other branch libraries have. That library was huge, i mean bigger-than-a-T-rex huge. If only we have this first-class facility back in Malaysia. Le sigh.

For reasons unbeknownst to myself, I suddenly pictured myself as Dr Park in House. Yes, the not-so-gifted, nerdy Asian one in the pack. To be honest, I would rather bang my head to the wall then to be like her, but then again, who am I to say such things?  Yet it's just a drama. A recent incident has made me felt so "connected" with her that this after-thought kept haunting "Why did I do that?!" Remember the part in House when Dr Adams did Park a favour, then Park insisted on returning it just to BE FAIR? She felt that she had fallen into superiority of Adams if she doesn't return the favour. I think I just did that, of course not in the extremity directly on par with Park. A good friend of mine gave me a very useful present for my last birthday but what I couldn't bear was to receive such expensive presents from others, it made me feel as if I OWE them something; the gratitude was too overwhelming, that I couldn't receive it with any grace. Mind you, competition/kiasu-ness/superiority is the last thing on my mind in this case (unlike Park). All I had in mind was I need to do something, anything to return the favour, even when the other party insisted on that being unnecessary at all. But then again, why should I ever regret doing that? A smile on my friend's face (tho I couldn't witness that, but you have to smile even if you don't feel like it!) is worth more than all those stupid pride matters.

Happy Birthday, you-know-who-you-are! Cheers to years of great friendship to come!

**On the side note, I noticed some form of plagiarism occurred in Facebook recently on my previous posts. Not that I'm a credit-sucking maniac, but my dear reader, I would very much appreciate your thoughtfulness if whatever you read stays on this site. If you would like to share the words/opinions from this site with your friends, kindly leave a comment or email me. I will be more than glad to help you as much as it's humanly possible. Thank you.

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